Z87 with DUAL 16x PCI-E 3.0

Brantoc

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 8, 2004
Messages
386
ASUS boards don't seem to have dual 16x. I noticed the Asus Formula, and Extreme both have dual 8x. I was wondering if there is a reason.

ASRocks, Gigabyte, and MSI have it, and Asus has it on the Z87-WS, but not the enthusiast boards.
 

R3MF

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
1,803
socket 1155/1150 chips only have 16x PCIe 3.0 lanes from the CPU, so split two ways electrically on most motherboards.
 

Justintoxicated

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 10, 2002
Messages
14,455
I was thinking the same thing. Guess the other boards use a Plex chip rather than what is provided by the CPU to achieve 16x. Perhaps x79 is still a better way to go?
 

Justintoxicated

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 10, 2002
Messages
14,455
Does micro center carry any of these 2x 16x boards? I would like to find a deal on one.
I don't see the gigabyte sniper, or the msi xpower.
 

tonyftw

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 21, 2013
Messages
1,817
I was thinking the same thing. Guess the other boards use a Plex chip rather than what is provided by the CPU to achieve 16x. Perhaps x79 is still a better way to go?
They use plx chips, which do add latency. In these type of situations, I'd always recommend LGA-2011 with its 40 native lanes.

Among the z87 motherboards, the asus z87 ws has the best value among the 4 way capable boards. It can do x16 - x16 (via plx), and packs the same vrm as the rog vi gene, hero, formula, and extreme.
 

Tsumi

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Mar 18, 2010
Messages
13,354
I swear, this question pops up in various forms at least once a month. It used to be about P55, then P67/Z68, then Z77, now Z87.

It is overrated for dual SLI/crossfire, as there are no single GPU cards than can saturate 8x PCI-E 3.0, let alone 16x.
 

Justintoxicated

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 10, 2002
Messages
14,455
I swear, this question pops up in various forms at least once a month. It used to be about P55, then P67/Z68, then Z77, now Z87.

It is overrated for dual SLI/crossfire, as there are no single GPU cards than can saturate 8x PCI-E 3.0, let alone 16x.
I understand what your saying but my thoughts were running 3 27" or 30" monitors with 3d surround, which might require 2 dual core cards on a Z87 board. I realize x79 might be better and would not require dual GPU cards, but the new CPUs have not arrived yet and I wonder if they are really worth the price since (I think) you lose a lot of new features with them?
 

RVWinkle

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 20, 2004
Messages
173
I understand what your saying but my thoughts were running 3 27" or 30" monitors with 3d surround, which might require 2 dual core cards on a Z87 board. I realize x79 might be better and would not require dual GPU cards, but the new CPUs have not arrived yet and I wonder if they are really worth the price since (I think) you lose a lot of new features with them?
I believe to run 3 monitors of that size at 60fps you're going to need two or three titans. If you're going to spend $1500+ on monitors and $2-3k on video cards then don't wonder if if x79 is too expensive. You'd be nuts to cheap out on the cpu and motherboard. With that said, you still won't saturate PCIe 3 8x.
 

Justintoxicated

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 10, 2002
Messages
14,455
I believe to run 3 monitors of that size at 60fps you're going to need two or three titans. If you're going to spend $1500+ on monitors and $2-3k on video cards then don't wonder if if x79 is too expensive. You'd be nuts to cheap out on the cpu and motherboard. With that said, you still won't saturate PCIe 3 8x.
Not too expensive, but possibly too expensive for the feature set? I'm not exactly sure how the latest x79s are stacking up with the z87 boards overall. Waiting for AMD to release their titan killer next month, before purchasing cards.
 

Topweasel

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
Messages
1,509
Not too expensive, but possibly too expensive for the feature set? I'm not exactly sure how the latest x79s are stacking up with the z87 boards overall. Waiting for AMD to release their titan killer next month, before purchasing cards.
What he is saying is there isn't a card and won't be any time soon that will communicate over the PCIe bus fast enough to saturate x8 lane PCIe 3.0 connector. Hell I am not sure we are really at the point where there would be a performance drop if you could only plug it into an 8x PCIe 1.0 port.
 

Tsumi

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Mar 18, 2010
Messages
13,354
I understand what your saying but my thoughts were running 3 27" or 30" monitors with 3d surround, which might require 2 dual core cards on a Z87 board. I realize x79 might be better and would not require dual GPU cards, but the new CPUs have not arrived yet and I wonder if they are really worth the price since (I think) you lose a lot of new features with them?
Either way, Haswell processors communicate with all GPUs using 16 PCI-E 3.0 lanes. That's it. That's what the processor is built with. No getting around this fact at all.

The only feature you "lose" on x79 IB-E vs unlocked Z87 Haswell is 6 native SATA3, where x79 has 2 native SATA3. However, choose the Gigabyte X79S-UP5 and you get the 8 native SAS ports, due to it using the fully unlocked C606 server chipset. Haswell's potentially important new feature, TSX (I believe that's what it's called), is disabled on unlocked processors, as well as VT-D and potentially some others as well.

What he is saying is there isn't a card and won't be any time soon that will communicate over the PCIe bus fast enough to saturate x8 lane PCIe 3.0 connector. Hell I am not sure we are really at the point where there would be a performance drop if you could only plug it into an 8x PCIe 1.0 port.
[H] testing has shown that bottlenecks can occur with 4x PCI-E 2.0 and GTX 480s, so I'm pretty sure that Titans will be limited by 8x PCI-E 1.0.
 

Topweasel

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
Messages
1,509
Either way, Haswell processors communicate with all GPUs using 16 PCI-E 3.0 lanes. That's it. That's what the processor is built with. No getting around this fact at all.

The only feature you "lose" on x79 IB-E vs unlocked Z87 Haswell is 6 native SATA3, where x79 has 2 native SATA3. However, choose the Gigabyte X79S-UP5 and you get the 8 native SAS ports, due to it using the fully unlocked C606 server chipset. Haswell's potentially important new feature, TSX (I believe that's what it's called), is disabled on unlocked processors, as well as VT-D and potentially some others as well.



[H] testing has shown that bottlenecks can occur with 4x PCI-E 2.0 and GTX 480s, so I'm pretty sure that Titans will be limited by 8x PCI-E 1.0.
I talk in hyperbole a lot though I would like to see a link on that. Still I mean you are talking about a decently recent card with some bottlenecks on what is pretty much a PCIe 1.0 8x slot. Cards are not sending 3x that information nowadays. It's always been that way, AGP 4x cards not using more then PCI, AGP 8x not using more then AGP, PCIe 1.0 16x not using more then 2x and so on. By the time you find a device that would saturate a PCIe 3.0 slot you will be buying a PCIe 5.0 or some thunderbolt off shoot, or whatever the next tech is.
 

Topweasel

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
Messages
1,509
[H]OCP x16/x16 vs x4/x4 testing.

Also relevant: [H]OCP x16/x16 vs x8/x8 testing.

No significant bottlenecks in single display 2560x1600, but did incur performance penalties at 5760x1200. It is also dependent on the game. The pattern seems to be that as resolution goes up, so does the importance of PCI-E bandwidth.
Reading that it was 1 game. 1 Game on a triple monitor resolution saw a very small marginal difference when using PCIe 2.0 8x of which PCIe 3.0 8x is twice as fast as plus has lower "overhead" and decreased latency.
 

Tsumi

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Mar 18, 2010
Messages
13,354
I was pointing out that PCI-E 1.0 8x would be a bottleneck at higher resolutions, and justintoxicated did say he was planning on running 3 monitors in 3D surround.
 

Topweasel

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
Messages
1,509
I was pointing out that PCI-E 1.0 8x would be a bottleneck at higher resolutions, and justintoxicated did say he was planning on running 3 monitors in 3D surround.
Agreed like I said a tad bit of hyperbole there. In the end like someone said earlier. 2x8 PCIe 3.0 shouldn't hurt him at all, but I second the notion for 2011. Get a X79 IB-E and call it a day. No stupid PLX chips. More cores. More memory more features. An extra $400-$500 for CPU/Mobo would be a drop in the bucket compared to the GPU and monitor costs he is talking about.
 

Tsumi

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Mar 18, 2010
Messages
13,354
True. Not to mention most low-end X79 boards are about $250, and have almost the same features as similarly priced Z87 boards.

IMO if you're going more than $250 on a motherboard, you might as well go X79. Z87 is for sub-$200 boards.
 

LigTasm

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 29, 2011
Messages
5,061
True. Not to mention most low-end X79 boards are about $250, and have almost the same features as similarly priced Z87 boards.

IMO if you're going more than $250 on a motherboard, you might as well go X79. Z87 is for sub-$200 boards.
You can get a Gigabyte X79-UD3 for way less than $250 (IIRC around $150 right now) and a 3820 or a 4820k when they come out for less than a comparably priced Haswell or Ivy unlocked quad core. If you're gaming and planning on multiple GPU's I think that is the sweet spot. Most people look down on the quad-core 2011 chips which I really don't understand when the boards are becoming much cheaper, it is a viable option.
 

Topweasel

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
Messages
1,509
You can get a Gigabyte X79-UD3 for way less than $250 (IIRC around $150 right now) and a 3820 or a 4820k when they come out for less than a comparably priced Haswell or Ivy unlocked quad core. If you're gaming and planning on multiple GPU's I think that is the sweet spot. Most people look down on the quad-core 2011 chips which I really don't understand when the boards are becoming much cheaper, it is a viable option.
I don't know specially if games are starting to shift over to a higher thread count and the small cost (compared to the platform as a whole with those 3 monitors) getting a 6c/12t part like the 4930 would seem like a better option as whole.
 

LigTasm

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 29, 2011
Messages
5,061
I don't know specially if games are starting to shift over to a higher thread count and the small cost (compared to the platform as a whole with those 3 monitors) getting a 6c/12t part like the 4930 would seem like a better option as whole.
I agree, but if you only have a budget for a quad core, X79 is not out of reach and for a primarily gaming with multi-gpu/multi monitors might make sense. Rather than buying a top end Z87 board, buy a midrange X79 and come out in the same rough budget area.

Fact is, even if it can be proven the x8/x8 isn't an issue it still bothers some people (hence these kind of questions on a regular basis) and there are other options available.
 

Justintoxicated

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 10, 2002
Messages
14,455
So I still haven't decided what to get just yet, but despite everyones advice I'm thinking to just get Haswell and deal with only 2 way SLI something like the Asus Formula or Hero. Waiting for C2 chipsets is taking forever though, if I wait just a little longer maybe I it will make more sense to go x79 again with the CPU refresh?

I know there is always something better coming out, but I have waited so long now that maybe waiting a little more would be worth it? Looks like more x79 motherboads will start coming out soon.
 

tonyftw

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 21, 2013
Messages
1,817
So I still haven't decided what to get just yet, but despite everyones advice I'm thinking to just get Haswell and deal with only 2 way SLI something like the Asus Formula or Hero. Waiting for C2 chipsets is taking forever though, if I wait just a little longer maybe I it will make more sense to go x79 again with the CPU refresh?
Depends on the features you prioritize, between the z87 and x79 chipset.

From reading Kyle's 4960x review, the newer asus x79 deluxe is due under a couple of weeks. So I would assume other new boards will be released around that time frame.
 

Justintoxicated

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 10, 2002
Messages
14,455
Depends on the features you prioritize, between the z87 and x79 chipset.

From reading Kyle's 4960x review, the newer asus x79 deluxe is due under a couple of weeks. So I would assume other new boards will be released around that time frame.
Indeed, and I got to thinking that my 5870 video card is still able to run everything I play, granted not on high detail but this card compared to anything new pretty much blows. Let alone having 3 titians etc. I'm thinking PCIe3 8x SLI would probably do it for me for a while.
 

Velocity_Micro

President & CEO
Joined
Jun 13, 2005
Messages
277
Our testing has shown that some boards that claim 2x16 are not actually 2x16. Like everything else PC spec related, you need to look beyond specs sometimes and look at the personal experience. If you are a spec junkie, go with X79. I love the EVGA Classy. For Z87, there is exceptionally little difference between the lower cost boards, but I would not get a high end Z87...I'd go with a decent X79 first, because as a spec junkie myself, I also love the quad channel memory. Just my two cents! - Randy
 

Topweasel

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
Messages
1,509
So I still haven't decided what to get just yet, but despite everyones advice I'm thinking to just get Haswell and deal with only 2 way SLI something like the Asus Formula or Hero. Waiting for C2 chipsets is taking forever though, if I wait just a little longer maybe I it will make more sense to go x79 again with the CPU refresh?

I know there is always something better coming out, but I have waited so long now that maybe waiting a little more would be worth it? Looks like more x79 motherboads will start coming out soon.
Again it was only if you were truly worried about the PCIe lanes. What you lose out in "bandwidth" you gain in latency dealing with the 2x16, 3x16 and 4x16 boards that add on PLX chips to accomplish it on Z boards. X79 is the only way to go to get the full benefit of having two or more PCIe 3.0 16x slots. The other reason x79 was brought up was because of your goals. Seems pointless to spend so much on monitors and GPU's and then limit yourself on memory, cores, and the flexibility of X79, specially since you seemed to be worried about PCIe lane count and no platform as more onchip PCIe then X79.

That said the HW I7 and Z87 setup is also crazy fast and like we have mentioned you will have almost no noticeable impact from having 2x8 or PLXed 2x16, in-comparison to 2x16 on X79.
 

Tsumi

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Mar 18, 2010
Messages
13,354
But again, as someone else noted above, the cost difference between a high-end Z87 board + i7 4770k and a mid-range X79 + i7 4820k is minimal, and really the only thing you will be losing out on with X79 is 6 native SATA6 ports. Both are unlocked, IPC is extremely similar, you gain quad-channel memory, extra PCI-E lanes, and VT-D with X79.
 
Top